Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Earwig and the Witch, the first feature made by the reborn Studio Ghibli after it seemingly closed up shop for good with 2014’s When Marnie Was There and the 2016 co-production The Red Turtle, finds the company trying to create a new artistic identity for itself. I would say that I am uncertain of how stable […]

Part of the appeal of animation is that it can depict anything that can be imagined outside of the bounds of physical reality, but in practice there tend to be limits on just how creative any given film can be: the hard limits of labor and money mean that, in general, the boldest, most radical […]

2020 has been a complete disaster for movies, on top of all the other things it has been a disaster for, but it managed to scrounge up a miracle in its last days: Pixar Animation Studios is alive and well. It was far too easy to wonder if the studio, a full decade after its […]

So, Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite! You’ve just got to love the stubborn optimism of that exclamation point, by the way. Like we’ll be convinced that it’s a bubbly, fun bit of high-energy nonsense if our brain reflexively rises up in volume as we read it Also, I cannot shake the feeling that it […]

“The feature film directorial debut of former superstar Disney animator Glen Keane” cannot possibly help but be a big deal, even if it’s not a big deal. Apologies for trying to be cryptic right out of the gate, but I’m doing it with a purpose: the unfortunately reality is that Over the Moon – the […]

The films of Don Bluth have been a much more reliable source of franchise than I would have ever imagined. The Secret of NIMH got a sequel, though it took 16 years; An American Tail got three sequels, one of which played theaters; All Dogs Go to Heaven, despite being wildly perceived as a failure, […]

The dream of Sullivan Bluth Studios, later Don Bluth Entertainment, came to a miserable end late in 1994. Over the previous nine years, the company (the second one co-founded by Bluth) had ascended as high as An American Tail in 1986 and The Land Before Time in 1988, the first two animated features ever to […]

The drastic tumble that animation director and producer Don Bluth took in the 1990s is shocking and even a little bit sad. His career in the 1980s was dedicated to the idea that there was a better way to do animation than the clunky kiddie junk that Walt Disney Feature Animation had been reduced to, […]

51 years after the premiere of the animated series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! on television, I can absolutely see where the idea of using a reboot of that series to launch a Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe makes business sense. That’s three or even four completely distinct generations that have grown up with Scooby-Doo, the one Hanna-Barbera […]

The powerful thirst of the Italian children’s movie marketplace for animated Titanic features was not slaked at one, nor even two. That is why, five years after the batshit crazy The Legend of the Titanic and four years after that film’s gruesome rip-off Titanic: The Legend Goes On…, the world finally received a proper sequel […]

It is simply impossible to think that 1999’s The Legend of the Titanic, one of the worst animated films I have ever seen  or could imagine seeing, was such a big deal that it could inspire a quick, cheap knock-off, but here we are with 2000’s Titanic: The Legend Goes On… or Titanic: The Legend […]

I guess it’s not really “surprising” that there weren’t really any knock-offs of James Cameron’s 1997 box-office behemoth Titanic to speak of; pragmatically, what could you do? There’s kind of only the one story to tell, and nobody was going to have the budget to tell it better. So outside of a flood of non-fiction […]